RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment

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The 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment

Introduction

The 40th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1717 for the defence of Port Royal in Canada. It was numbered 40th in 1751, to which 2nd Somersetshire was added to its title in 1782.

On 1 July 1881, the 40th amalgamated with the 82nd (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) to form The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers). The 82nd became the Second Battalion. The name was altered a few weeks later to the Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment, only for it to revert back to The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers) in 1938.

On 1 July 1958, the regiment linked with the East Lancashire Regiment to form The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers).

On 27 March 1970, The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) amalgamated with the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) to form the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (Loyals and Lancashire).

The 1st/40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment

1800 1st/40th (2nd Somersetshire)

28 Oct 1800 The 40th was ordered to Malta for garrison duty. It relieved the 30th and 89th Regiments.

15 Nov 542 men (83 sick) arrived on board the transport Hector.

16 Nov The 40th disembarked at the Marina and marched to the barracks of St Gregorio Valletta (Fort Lower St Elmo was on St Gregory Bastion and was originally referred to as St Gregorio).

Four Coys under Lt Col Kemiss were quartered at Fort Manoel, while the 6 remaining coys under Lt Col Clay took over Lower St Elmo Barracks which had been occupied by The 35th Foot. Once the men were comfortably settled, the officers proceeded to the European Hotel for dinner, and in the evening attended a public ball at the Opera House.1

18 Nov On Tues 18 Nov was witnessed the fatal effects of intemperance and cheap wines in the death of Corporal Booth. He leaned over one of the barrack room windows while drunk, lost his equipoise and fell into the yard dying on the spot.1

26 Nov 1800 The four flank Coys each of 60 men moved to Fort Ricasoli in readiness for their embarkation for Egypt. They formed part of the reserve under the command of Maj-Gen John Moore.

1801 1st/40th (2nd Somersetshire) (Osborn's Regiment)

1 Jan 1801 Strength: 23 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 459 rank and file fit for duty, 83 rank and file sick, 660 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

1 May Strength: 22 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 478 rank and file fit for duty, 56 rank and file sick, 652 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

5 Sep Strength: 542 men (83 sick), 1 Lt Col, 1 Maj, 3 Capt, 11 Lt, 3 Ensigns, 0 Pay Master, 1 Adjt, 1 QM, 0 Surg, 1 As Surg, 24 SSgt, 10 Drummers, 515 men, 78 Sick in Hospital, 0 deaths. The battalion was quartered at Bormla (Cospicua) and Fort Ricasoli.

Oct The flank Companies left Egypt and rejoined the rest of the regiment at Malta.

1 Nov Strength: 29 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 474 rank and file fit for duty, 117 rank and file sick, 709 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

26 Nov 1801 The 40th left for Minorca where the 1st and 2nd Battalions remained until June 1802.

The 2nd/40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment

1800 2nd/40th (2nd Somersetshire)

15 Nov 1800 614 men (96 sick). The 2nd/40th Foot being enlisted for limited service was left to garrison Malta. It relieved the 30th and the 89th Foot.

1801 2nd/40th (2nd Somersetshire) (Hutchinson's Regiment)

The 2nd battalion formed part of the Malta garrison following the departure of Abercrombie's Expedition to Egypt.

1 Jan 1801 Strength: 26 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 518 rank and file fit for duty, 96 rank and file sick, 732 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

1 May Strength: 24 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 514 rank and file fit for duty, 87 rank and file sick, 719 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

19–20 Aug General Court Martial: On 7 August 1801, Salvatore Zammit was fatally stabbed with a bayonet by Pt John Ellery. Ellery was acquitted of murder due to insufficient evidence. He was then tried by a Garrison Court Martial and found guilty of riotous behaviour and the beating of an inhabitant. He was sentenced to 600 lashes, 450 of which were inflicted soon after sentence was passed, the rest when the regimental surgeon pronounced him fit to do so. In compensation for the loss of her husband, Ludovica Zammit was granted the sum of 500 scudi.1

5 Sep Strength: 1 Lt Col, 2 Maj, 3 Capt, 11 Lt, 2 Ensigns, 1 Pay Master, 1 Adjt, 0 QM, 1 Surg, 1 As Surg, 29 SSgt, 14 Drummers, 461 men, 95 Sick in Hospital, 0 Deaths.

1 Nov Strength: 32 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 459 rank and file fit for duty, 58 rank and file sick, 635 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

28 Nov 1801 The 2nd battalion embarked for Minorca.

The 2nd/The Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment

1 July 1881 The 82nd Regiment became The 2nd Battalion The Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment.

1892 2nd/Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire)

30 Sep 1892 The 2nd/South Lancashire Regiment disembarked in Malta from Gibraltar.

It had an average strength of 240 men, 189 admissions (787.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 1 death (4.16/1000 mean strength). 1 invalid returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 8.83 (36.79/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 13.46 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 19.09 days.

The 2nd/South Lancashire Regiment was quartered at Isola Gate Barracks for 3 months. It had detachments at Fort Chambray Gozo for 1 month.

1893 2nd/Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire)

The 2nd/South Lancashire Regiment had an average strength of 118 men. It had 57 admissions (483.0/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 2 deaths (16.94/1000 mean strength). 4 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 5.27 (44.66/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 16.30 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 33.75 days.

It was quartered at Isola Gate Barracks for 5 weeks.

9 Feb 1893 The 2nd/South Lancashire Regiment embarked for Egypt, where it arrived on 13 February. It left Egypt for India on 19 February 1895.

The 2nd/South Lancashire Regiment

1946 2nd/South Lancashire

5 July 1946 The 2nd Battalion arrived from England to relief the 1st/4th South Lancashire Regiment which was placed in suspended animation.

At the request of the War Office one battalion of the 2nd South Lancaster Regiment was earmarked for duty in Tripolitania should the situation there required reinforcements. The commanding officer and selected officers reconnoitered Tripolitania in Sept 1946.

1947 2nd/South Lancashire

Sept 1947 The 2nd Battalion left for Trieste.

The 1st/4th South Lancashire Regiment

1945 1st/4th South Lancashire

Sept 1945 The 1st/4th South Lancashire arrived at Malta after Sept 1945.

1946 1st/4th South Lancashire

29 July 1946 The 1st/4th South Lancashire Regiment disbanded under Authority 0160/2521/1(SD4) dated 25 Feb 1946.

Bibliography

  • Farmer J. S., 1984. The regimental records of the British Army Reprint Edition, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Crecy Books.
  • Anderson Aeneas, 1802. A Journal of the Forces which sailed from the Downs in April 1800 on a Secret Expedition under the command of Lt General Pigot. London.
  • Smythes Raymond R, H, 1894. Historical records of the 40th (2nd Somerset) Regiment, Swiss A H Devenport, p 82.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  • TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  • TNA:WO 334/62. Army Medical Department Sick Returns and Reports, Infantry Regiments and Hospitals abroad (1 January 1869 – 31 July 1870).
  • TNA:WO 334/77. Army Medical Department Sick Returns and Reports, Infantry Regiments and Hospitals abroad (1 January 1870 – 31 December 1870).
  • 1TNA:CO 158/6, Pigot to Cameron re Pte John Elery dated 28 August 1801.
  • TNA:WO 265/1. Quarterly Historical Reports, Headquarters Malta Command, 30 September – 31 December 1946.